Saturday, June 6, 2020

Don't Kill the Mockingbirds - Mockingbirds Matter

A glass of water, that piece of bread, an item of clothing, that visit… these little things, my friend, are what the Lord asks of you. Love manifested for the hungry one, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the one in prison, the broken one, the one who suffers, who’s alone, as the Bible tells us in Matthew 25:35-40.
“‘For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink’ […] ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?’ […] ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

We are seeing this denial played out in the streets of every major city across the nation. People are hungry and thirsty, people are dying because of social injustice. Now is the time for all of us Christians to think about these words from Jesus Christ. He came into the world to teach about how to live to create a Kingdom of God. His words during the short time that he lived are written down for all to see. He sacrificed his life that we could have a better life, but I am afraid many people are so caught up in religious differences that we fail to really understand these words and how they play out in the larger society.

Huge populations of Christians all over the world carry the Bible and pound the religious teachings of Jesus to make the world a better place - for humans anyway. How many of us really take these words to our hearts and live our lives accordingly? I aspire to do this, but I am not perfect. I think when I live these words I am compassionate and can look beyond religion and politics and relate to all humans from this perspective. This works for me. I try to understand all groups and "walk a mile in their moccasins" to be able to really hear what they are saying and use my freedom of choice and vote to walk with them in support as Jesus did when he walked among the lepers of his time. I am certainly not perfect and fall down a lot - my ego gets in the way many times and I revert to my superior knowledge instead of thinking about my wisdom and "what would Jesus do?" That being said, I must take a stand for a group that has never been included in the dialogue of this nation since the beginning of our nation and I see this as a major problem in working to settle the suffering that fills our nation today - Mother Earth and all her sentient beings.

Without going into all the scientific discussions about climate change, I want to discuss how our lives are being ruined by industrialism and division based on what I need as opposed to what others need. What does our planet need? I watched as police released tear gas upon a crowd of protesters and the nation condemned and judged with no mention about the damage to the air and earth and all the wildlife living there. It is my thought that when we include Mother Earth and all sentient life that we share the earth with and that not only provides our sustenance but pure joy, we will move forward in a better way as a nation.

I have been thinking a lot about the great writers of classic literature that have made an impact on our society as we examine social injustice and change. I have written a lot about the black writers of the Harlem Renaissance but most recently I have been thinking about Harper Lee and "To Kill a Mockingbird." I think the theme of this novel closely aligns with not only the words of Jesus but my thoughts about our relationship to "the least of us - the mockingbird." The title of the book comes from a speech given by Atticus Finch near the end of Tom Robinson's trial. Atticus reminds the jury that "we should not kill mockingbirds because all they do is sing and make people feel good." Let's try to look at what we are doing to Mother Earth in this long struggle for civil rights and include her in the mix as well.

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